From improving your health to losing weight, people have lots of reasons for hiring a personal trainer. Preparing for surgery usually isn't often one of them. But for two Sioux Falls sisters, getting into shape was the first step toward a life-saving surgery.
The sisters have one goal--to be the healthiest possible by March. That's because in March, 22-year-old Nikki Dirksen plans to donate her kidney to her half-sister, 29-year-old Kate McKenna. McKenna suffers from kidney failure. It's an unusual challenge for the pair and for their personal trainer.
"I just hope I'm able to help them reach their goal," personal trainer Marciea Allen said.
Allen says McKenna is also a motivation to others because despite her condition, she tries her best.
"I've encountered a lot of different challenges, but hands down this is by far one of the toughest ones I've dealt with," Allen said.
While pushing McKenna and Dirksen to get into shape, she also has to make sure McKenna doesn't get sick in the process.
"We have to make sure her eyes are not bloodshot and things like that," Allen said.
Because of her kidney failure, McKenna's body temperature also can't get too high.
"With the physical activity she had prior to coming in, which was very minimal, being able to increase her endurance is a challenge," Allen said.
Still, Allen says this is also the most rewarding experience she's ever had as a personal trainer.
"Right away I told them, 'This is going to be by far one of the biggest success stories because this type of thing doesn't happen every day,'" Allen said.